A Response to Kuper — DM

This photo stuck with me as I continued the reading, especially the description of the photo that went along with it, detailing the remaining pedestrians on the bicycles that had not be confiscated yet. I think the photographer here seems to show how normalized the invasion had become and how society had adapted to the societal and structural changes. Here, you see men and women pass by casually looking to their sides to see lines of soldiers, as if it is a common thing of the day.

This actually appeared to stray from the behaviors of Ajax that Kuper describes. Ajax had many Jewish members as of 1941, and we see Ajax defend the Jewish community and their respective members in its annual report for 1941-1942. The report read, “We are in the fearful expectation that many more of our members will be taken… many of us have left… and we fear the coming times.” The quote appears to show Ajax standing in solidarity with its Jewish community, something Susan Smit finds no other club doing at the time. So, what’s interesting to me is the juxtaposition between the photo and Ajax’s actions — it appears to show the uniqueness in the history of this soccer club in comparison to the surrounding society in this particular instance. Ajax seemed to show no casual look, rather a stare in defiance.

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2 thoughts on “A Response to Kuper — DM

  1. It’s interesting, then, to contrast Ajax’s 1941 statement with its later claim that no Ajax club members died–as Kuper points out, that’s only on the technicality that these members had been forced to resign before being deported and, most of them, murdered. Just a few years–or even a few months–can change the calculus enormously, and even the perspective and what people think were the facts of the matter. I’m struck by that more and more in recent weeks–two weeks ago, those Confederate statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond were going to stand for years more, I thought. Now, they’re all gone but one. And today: Dan Snyder is “retiring” his team’s nickname; a few years ago he was “never” going to do that.

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  2. I agree that the caption really adds meaning to the photograph as it depicts how normalized such acts were. The German troops on the left side of the picture are depicted singing in a celebratory manner, praising the 10th anniversary of Hitler’s seizure of power. The combination of the photo and its caption make for a harrowing image. Seeing the surge of troops outwardly supporting Hitler, singing in the streets of Amsterdam knowing this was all occurring while they were torturing and killing Jews, is a horrific image. When you discuss society having to adjust to the “societal and structural changes”, I am reminded of the image that I chose to write about which showed the England team all demonstrating the Nazi salute. In both your selected image and mine, we can clearly see how the political realm and the harsh effects of the invasion impacted individuals and society as a whole. Both of our photos encapsulate how the Nazis began to take over all of Europe and how they left individuals powerless. Additionally, I also do think that it was brave for Ajax to stand in support of the Jewish community, especially in this time period where doing so could’ve had deadly implications.

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